Today is Cinco de Mayo, a day that commemorates the Battle of Pueblo where the Mexican army defeated French forces. It’s a big thing for Mexico. I remembered briefly this morning when Facebook reminded me to wish one of my childhood friends a happy birthday. Then I promptly forgot. When I sat down to write this post, I realized what a funny coincidence it is that I am writing about a delicious chili recipe today. But yes, it’s completely a coincidence.
Meanwhile, if we have one more rainy day here in Connecticut, I might just start sprouting parsley from my hip. After a long and cold winter, all we really want to do is to get outside and play, plant and enjoy our yard. Instead, we have lots of rain, which seems to be encouraging weeds to sprout waist-high overnight (I kid you not!).
But if there is one meal that just screams of wanting to warm you up on a dreary, rainy day, it’s chili. Of course, with summer nudging around the corner, we only have a few more weeks (days?) before we need to trade hearty dishes for lighter, cooler fare.
This chili has a definite kick with the chipotle, but I think it’s more medium than hot. The kids? Well, they weren’t that thrilled with the heat but Shawn and I loved it. The chicken is a nice change up in this hearty, slightly spicy chili. Served over rice, this will fill your belly and leave you satisfied.
Chipotle Chicken Chili
This chili has a moderate amount of heat, which should be ideal for most adults. If you want it to knock your socks off, add another chipotle pepper to the mix. However, if you are cooking for young children, this might be a little spicy, so I suggest cutting back a little on the chipotle (one pepper should be ok). As for the garnish — the cold tomatoes and smooth, creamy avocado take this delish chili and make it an OMG WOW!
2 tbsp canola oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and ends removed
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 chipotle peppers from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo (available in most supermarkets)
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into a 1″ dice
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chilis
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed
salt (about 1 tsp — but to taste)
1 cup frozen corn
In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
Combine the onion (you may need to cut it in half or quarters), garlic and chipotle peppers in a food processor. Process until finely chopped and well combined. Add the mixture to the pot and cook, stirring occationally, for about five minutes until it dries a bit and thickens.
Add the chicken to the chipotle mixture and cook, tossing occationally, until the chicken is opaque on all sides and well coated. Add all of the tomatoes, along with the black beans, kidney beans and salt. Stir well. Lower the heat to low and cover. Let simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hrs. The chili will thicken as it cooks, so try not to let it go longer than two hours.
Stir in the frozen corn (I used white shoepeg corn) and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until corn is hot too.
To serve: Dish out the thick chili on a bed of rice. If desired, garnish with diced avocado, diced tomatoes and cheddar cheese.